The Gift of a Day to Prepare for a Storm.

Yesterday was almost warm.

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I know it doesn’t look terribly warm, and blowing so the snow was washed up into beachy tidal drifts but warm enough so I could spend hours outside preparing the barn and my animals for the deep cold that is forecast.


Though I will believe the weather when I see it. Weather is such Big News that there is a possibility that there is some exaggeration. Last nights radar was telling me an entirely different story.

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However last night there was some snow, I am not sure how much yet I will tell you in the comments,more today  and  soon the temperatures will take a wicked dive pushed under by a strong arctic wind and tonight and tomorrow will be dangerously cold. It is the cold and the wind in tandem that is the worst.

So everyone is eating exceptionally well. The ruminants have a wonderful system of stomachs that enable them to store masses of fermenting grass which I call the stomach compost heap,  heating themselves from the inside out. So I am stoking their boilers with extra hay.  And making sure they do not run out.


The pigs are also over fed, all diets are on hold, and they have got their beds all sorted out. Sheila spent some time yesterday testing hers out.drifts-068

i am trying new covers for Sheila. At least when she rips these up they are biodegradable.


The Plonkers were having way too much fun in the snow to come in. The sheep have their North door shut and a belly full of hay and oats. The chickens have their heat lamps, the peahens are perching above the little pigs light and the tracks are all plowed (then the red snow plow truck broke down but there you are.. you can’t have everything!)


The bees will  be grateful for the added protection of the insulation (I hope) they still have all their air vents and housekeeping doors.


Hopefully  this helps them keep themselves warm when it is so  very cold.  And I don’t doubt that the cold will come.

The dogs and I had an extra long walk in the afternoon, in a failed attempt to wear out Bad Boo. drifts-091 drifts-092 drifts-112

He still had plenty of energy for a little Sweetness.  Though Marmalade is growing up. drifts-053 drifts-056

Boo tries to entice him into play with his soft toys but Marmalade does not even want to play with the Gorilla. Do you remember when Marmalade Cat was this big?


And now he is a sulky adolescent. Poor Boo Nanny. I know exactly how you feel.

I hope you all have a lovely day. I wonder what today will bring to us?

Your friend on the farmy



64 Comments on “The Gift of a Day to Prepare for a Storm.

  1. look how big Marmalade is! oh they just grow so fast and then the growing up part has to catch up! Stay warm dear Miss C. those cold winds can be so vicious to critters and humans alike.

  2. Please be extra careful as this next one passes your way I know we can only do what we can but I have to say this is NUTS! NZ is looking even better lol 🙂 They again that Ring of Fire scares me as I can not prepare for something such as that! Storms headed here with ICE on top of all this snow but he did the roof as all else was completed as we wait on freezing rain. Again stay safe. I know what you mean when you said warm as that is why I walk JT during hours we see it above the horrid mark 🙂
    Your photo did look like so many of my ocean shots

    HUGS to you and your crew.

  3. Oh, Honey…I so hope that you’re right, and the forecasters wrong…We have one of those ‘gift’ days today, so the Small People can go out and play in the snow before it melts tomorrow. Then we’re back in the deep freeze for a few more days…
    Love the photo of Big Dog!

  4. Celi, our big dog who is half Border collie took two years to grow out of his pupish stage. Two years was a long time to wait for the lovely dog that behaves so very well now. 😉

    We are going into the deepest of freezes for this part of the country.
    The weather here is very cold. Strangely it will be 50 today then drop to 9 overnight. Tomorrows high? 15 and an overnight low of 4. I’m sure this is nothing for you by now, but it is too cold for the deep south. I am worried for my geese’s feet, and the silly guineas who won’t come in to roost, and our pipes under the house. Our water will be running, just a little, on every spigot tonight!

    PS: Your clothes pins on the line reminded me of little birds on the wires.

  5. Thinking of you, however, its very hard for me to imagine right now. Just experienced temps up to 39C on our verandah, and we had the fan going all night – even the toothpaste was warm 😦 Joy

  6. Your preparations remind me just a little of getting ready for storm season here. Bottled water and food for 3 days, candles, torches, batteries, radio to listen out for Take Shelter or All Clear. Tape the windows, draw the curtains, bring in the animals. Lots of plastic bags… Flooding knocks out not just power but also water and.. um… sewage… I’m thinking of everyone who will be living through a Big Cold Storm tonight. Stay safe.

    • I am so glad you mentioned ‘draw curtains’, it seems to something everyone misses! No matter what the crisis i, be it hot, cold, tornadoes, hurricanes I always draw mine. Keeps heat out in summer, cold out in winter, if high winds brake window glass, helps to keep the glass from flying. So handy them ‘curtains’!! Yet they are never mentioned when the experts tell us how to prepare are they?

      • I don’t even have curtains, not on one window in the house! oops..I cannot bear that closed in feeling, i have to see out, always.. c

        • Me neither. But we do have roll-down exterior shutters which we close at night if it is particularly (for us!) cold.. I was thinking, reading your post and then the comments, the extraordinary range of environments in which all the Fellowship receives your blog. It makes me appreciate the temperate (quasi) nature of where I live, extreme events moderated by the Gulf Stream from Mexico.

          That Marmalade is becoming a handsome teenager, while Boo is probably still a child. The relationship could become difficult.

          Keep your spirits up, and wrap up well.

          • Our temperatures are VERY different in boring Palmerston North, N Z. But I too, cannot bear to have curtains pulled…
            Is it a Kiwi thing? Do you think?

  7. It will get super cold here too, low of 2F today and 1F tomorrow. So hoping that everyone here on the farm makes it through the next two days, and then it looks like we’ll be okay for a while. Sending warm thoughts your way! xo

  8. Shiela’s ears are very sweet. Perhaps I should crochet some floppy covers for them. And Boo/kitty before and after are very touching. As Virginia Woolf entitled Part II of “To the Lighthouse”, “Time passes.” It just does. Happens to us all. Even Boo. Hunker down you lovely farm people (that includes animals) and we will be looking out for you tomorrow.

  9. We’ve been hearing about the snow storms hitting the US – brrrr. fave photo of today is the one of the washing line and pegs – waiting to be put back into use.

  10. So pretty! And I know, so cold. I love that you feed the cows in the trunk ( yeah, “boot” I know ) of an old American car.

  11. The weather has gone mad – globally. Uk under water and US under snow and freezing. Really hope there aren’t any portents for our winter coming up. I really hope everyone stays safe and warm. Laura

        • Laugh! Maybe that is what they are waiting for. (sigh) can you imagine when I add a baby kune kune to the mix. c

          • Hopefully you don’t have a ‘racing circle’ in your house. In mine you can go from the kitchen, through the bath into the ‘back room’, into the living room and back into the kitchen. When I got Rosie as a young pig I also had two relatively young rat terriers. First the dogs would chase Rosie around one way, then Rosie would chase Drucilla and Dulcimer around the other way – a true circus for sure! I’m quite sure visitors thought I’d lost all my marbles with that group romping about the house.

            • Ha ha , that does sound pretty wild!! No racing circle here! Though Marmalade regularly runs around the whole sitting area without touching the ground once.. I am hoping that Boo will take to the piglet as well as he has taken to this cat. They would make a fine trio!

  12. It’s hard for me to remember where each of your Felloship Folks lives, so I appreciate it when someone lets us know what country they are writing from. Ecuador! Wow! I think Galapagos, Darwin!

  13. We’re in wait and see mode here, too. Sadly we uninvited some friends that we’d invited over for lunch today after listening to the weather hysteria. And here’s it’s still warmish and just a little soggy. Love the photo of the clothespins.

  14. Oh, how that clothespin/clothesline photo makes me long for hanging laundry out. Sometimes I do in January. But the temp needs to be around 40 degrees and the sun shining strong. No such weather here now. The extreme cold is arriving and settling in for a several-day visit here in Minnesota.

  15. Just enough warmth yesterday to melt a little of the snow and prepare for today’s event.

    Hope everyone on the farmy is staying warm and safe.

  16. Goodness me Marmalade shot up! Sheila is so cute with her ears poking up in her bed. I hope she was cosy. 🙂 Today is much warmer than the past few days. It was brutal. My older dog (who isn’t that old) has not been impressed at all.

  17. The freezing weather is hitting everywhere. I know many people with frostbitten combs on their chickens. Tonight the rabbits and chooks are coming inside the garage for safety as it hits a high of 13 tomorrow around midnight. Then it drops and keeps dropping through Wednesday. Today it is 36 degrees. The snow will turn to treacherous ice very fast. Be careful out there!

  18. I just love Sheila’s ear poking up thru the straw. Just keep feeding the critters so they can stoke their internal fires. You are such a good steward of your farmy. I am rereading “Animals as Guides for the Soul”. Makes me think of you, Celi. Wow….look away for a few days and Marmalade grows up! Poor Boo…..his little baby is no more to cuddle. Now there will really be a rough and tumble relationship. We are still in the deep freeze, too….but no snow on the ground. Drought conditions here. I can’t stand to draw my drapes against the weather in daylight. I need to see out, too. Stay warm if you can

  19. Celi, my husband just wondered out loud where you get your firewood. We just go up the mountain and cut ours, but I don’t see many trees in your area. Do you burn wood or pellets or maybe coal? I see that the sweet ones stay close to the stove…..

    • You are right there are not many trees around here, but still people cut them down, particularly hedge rows that are left over from the old farms. Big old trees in their yards. So when this happens we take the chainsaw and the trucks and we salvage as much of the wood as we can before the men with huge machines push them up into enormous bonfires and set fire to them. John also has a friend who has an area of woods in the bottom of his property and they go in there and clear out the dead trees and branches every now and then.. Something they are going to have to do soon as I am running out of dry wood. This early winter!.. c

      • Cutting down beautiful old trees enrages me! I have planted trees all my life and love them. Native Americans call them ‘the standing people’. Here in the West we get wood permits from the Forest Service and are allowed to cut up to 10 cords of dead or downed trees a year for home use, My husband exclaimed “Oh God, what a waste” when he read about the bonfires.

        • I have not made many friends with my rage either, sadly it is all about extra rows to plant in govt subsidised corn and beans.. but at the very least we have firewood and also wood to make things like the Coupe cupboards. But the trees grow so slowly here, so sad to see the old ones go down.. c

            • ‘Standing People’ is such a wonderful … thingy
              Words fail
              Which is why I rely on you people.
              We have little tiny Totara growing in odd places… Looking for homes…

  20. Hope the weather reports are exaggerated both for you and me. I think we have enough water without the new allowance forecast for tonight. Stay warm.

  21. I’m not sure if I prefer your cold freeze or the UK’s seemingly endless soggy inundation of wet storms. Hope you guys and all the animals stay warm and safe in this wintry weather. Roll on summer! 🙂

  22. I LOVE the image of Sheila’s ears. She looks rather comfortable.

    Have you ever read “Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type?” If not, see if your local library has it. It’s a children’s picture book, and it is delightful. Cows demanding electric blankets from Farmer Brown. I think of you when I read it.

    • Ha ha !! sounds like me alright! Though seriously I have thought of those plant heating pads for lambs in winter, they are water proof and lambs don’t chew on stuff.. so i should not scoff!! c

  23. Marmelade is expanding SO fast!
    The thought of preparing for cold in something that looks that cold already fills me with dread! Our cold snaps are when I wear a jacket and long pants and shoes, and cut my daily swim a bit short …

  24. Boo doesn’t have such a playful kitty companion now. Glad you have a good day to prepare for the coming weather.

  25. Coming in late as usual, do so hope the weather has not been quite as bad as predicted: half of our news at the moment is full of your weather: brrr!!! And I had a look at your radar too . . .? Wonderful photos: is that Daisy in the front ~ one can almost see the calf! And Boo ~ how come he has gone from ‘Little Boy Blue’ to ‘Blue’ to ‘Boo’ to ‘Bad’? Hmm: and then Marmalade gets all ‘grownup’ on him!! Pat > Boo [good Boo!] for me . . . Yes, and I love that row of pegs too . . .hope you all are surviving !!!

  26. Marmalade has had such a growth spurt! How old is he now? Great shot of Sheila’s ears. Here’s hoping that the storm and cold isn’t as bad as they say, and that it passes and warms up quickly.

  27. Oh why do kittens ( and puppies and babies for that matter ) have to grow up. !!!
    Thinking of you in that terrible cold Celi… and from this distance thinking how beautiful it all looks… We are into what is cooking up to be the second hottest summer on record – last year being the first… but it must be hard to believe in global warming when you’re coping with winters like yours..

    • We are having a very old fashioned winter.. like they used to have around here about twenty years ago they tell me.. when they always had snow on the ground in winter and hot hot summers in the summer.. but i do prefer MILD! Thank goodness i am not milking! c

  28. I love your description of the cows’ stomach compost heaps. Now I really understand ruminating. You are well prepared.

  29. Reading the news this side it looks like you are in for a blinder… so batten down the hatches and I hope it is not as bad as they seem to think it will be…

  30. I’ll bet Boo and Marmalade snuggle up when the temp dips low. Hoping you and all your wonderful critters will stay warm and cozy. Here in VA we woke up to 47F this morning but by tonight it is supposed to dip to 1 degree. At least there is no snow….. not yet this winter anyway.

  31. Brrrr. That clothes pin shot is brilliant catch. I like it.
    We aren’t as cold as you – should get above freezing tomorrow – but Molly is wild with energy in the cold and wind…not still long enough to get cold, but we make her come in anyway.
    Stay warm!

  32. I imagine Boo thinking or however dogs do about Marmalade’s growth. Like how he relates to it as they interact. It is always so heartwarming to see the pics. Our dog (only 16 months) has a good relationship with our new kitty but not like your two cuddlers. Happy new Year:)
    Love the new cramp ons!

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